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When you think of soft dry cat food, you probably associate it with older cats with dental issues or kittens whose teeth haven’t formed completely. Soft kibble cat food, most commonly referred to as just soft dry cat food, can be for cats of all ages, breeds, and levels of health, though.
If you’ve been considering switching your cat’s diet to soft dry cat food or already have them on that diet but want to see what some of the best soft cat food options are out there, this article should give you the information you need.
Some soft dry cat foods stand out amongst the rest, and we’ve made it easy for you by listing those top 3 best soft cat food choices below! So keep reading to learn everything you need to know about feeding your feline friend soft dry cat food.
best Products discussed in the article:
While some cat foods are designed and formulated specifically for elder cats, kittens, or those with health issues, there are a few that are great across the board for all cats. These are:
What makes these our top 3 best soft dry cat food choices? It’s a combination of how easy they are on cats’ stomachs, how much cats love the taste and texture, and the high-quality, premium ingredients in each bag that make these top of the list. Your cat is sure to love them too!
Review of Soft Kibble Cat Foods
Blue Buffalo True Solutions Blissful Belly Digestive Care Formula Dry Cat Food
Option #1: Best for Digestive Health
This dry cat food is made without chicken by-products, wheat, corn, soy, or artificial flavors and preservatives, making this dry cat food ideal for cats with sensitive tummies. Because the ingredients on this label are put in there with your cat’s gut health in mind, it makes the soft dry cat food pieces easy for your cat to digest and can help them have an easier time from that first bite, all the way to the litter box.
Prebiotic fiber is added into the blend of one of the best soft dry cat foods out there and is among many ingredients that aid in the digestive process of your cat. The fiber in this soft dry cat food is excellent for older cats whose stomach and intestines may have a more challenging time breaking down and moving food through the body; fiber helps everything move through your cat smoothly from start to finish.
Added vitamins like C and E help boost your cat’s immune system, so they stay happy and healthy after every meal. While vitamin C acts to keep your cat’s immune system in proper working order, vitamin E helps your cat’s skin stay soft and healthy and makes fur appear smoother and shinier.
However, Individual pieces of soft kibble food may still be too large for some cats. Kittens especially may have a hard time eating these while their mouths are smaller and their teeth are still developing. This is a downside if you’re looking for high-quality food for your new kitten.
I would recommend this for anyone with a cat who has allergies or stomach issues. Most consumers who have fed this soft dry cat food to their feline friends have found it to be easy on their stomachs and won’t cause them to throw up or have digestive issues later on.
Purina One Tender Selects Blend with Real Salmon Dry Cat Food
Option #2: Trusted Brand Name
The slightly crunchy outside and soft chicken-filled inside gives this the taste and texture that cats love. This soft dry cat food has enough crunch that cats with relatively healthy gums and teeth can eat it without any issues. Pet owners can soften cat food even more by adding water or a gravy mix over the top, making the already soft centers even smoother.
The natural ingredient list boasts the addition of vitamins and nutrients that help promote cats’ gut health and digestive processes. Just like you, your cat should be getting their daily dose of vitamins and nutrients, and this soft dry cat food makes that happen; that’s one reason it’s one of the best soft cat foods in our lineup. An across-the-board array of vitamins and nutrients in this soft dry cat food ensures your cat gets the supplement they need along with their tasty meal.
The texture of the kibble and the addition of omega 6’s help keep your cat’s teeth clean, plus skin and fur stay healthy and shiny. Soft dry cat food pieces have a rougher texture that is soft enough on sensitive gums but scrubs plaque off teeth with each bite your cat takes. While the cat food pieces are cleaning your cat’s teeth, the omega 6’s your cat is absorbing helps keep their skin hydrated and soft, which in turn supports their fur staying softer and shinier.
Something to keep in mind with this food is that most cats, even those who are typically picky eaters, love this food so much that they tend to overeat if the food isn’t portioned out for them. If your cat already struggles with weight as a health concern, this food will have to be monitored and dished out to them in smaller portions.
I recommend this soft dry cat food for people who own multiple cats or do any type of rescue care for cats. This is because it’s fairly affordable, available in almost any pet store or pet section of a grocery store, and most cats will eat as much as you give them, making it great for a multiple cat household where each cat has their own favorite flavors; this one floats everyone’s boat!
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Tender Dinner Variety Pack Cat Food
Option #3: Best Soft Kibble Cat Food
This variety pack includes gravy mixed in directly with soft dry cat food pieces in each bag. The addition of gravy makes all the dry cat food pieces softer, which is excellent for cats who have difficulty chewing crunchy foods. You can soften cat food even more by adding a splash of water to the mix when you feed your cat.
Multiple flavors come in the variety pack, including tuna, chicken, and ocean fish, formulated with high-quality ingredients. The variety this pack of soft dry cat food gives you ensures your cat won’t get bored with eating the same flavor of food every day at feeding time. The variety style pack is also great if you’re unsure which flavor is your cat’s favorite; try them all and then re-purchase the one your cat enjoyed the most.
Pre-packaged cat food dinners portion out the correct amount of soft dry cat food, so you don’t have to guess. Individual packets are also great for traveling when you and your cat go on adventures or have someone pet-sitting for you.
While bags are pre-portioned for the average amount of food that most adult cats need, you may need to half the portion size for kittens or cats on a diet so they don’t overeat or waste the food. Bags do not include a zip style closure so you’ll need to clip the bag shut or roll it down tightly between feeding times.
Being that this is the softest cat food in the lineup, I recommend this for anyone with a kitten whose teeth are still forming and would benefit from softer textured cat food. This is also great for older cats who may have dental issues and have a challenging time chewing and digesting harder kibble food. I appreciate the pre-portioned bags that make it easy for you to feed your cat the appropriate amount of food or for anyone caring for your cat while you’re away.
Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Healthy Growth Formula Kitten Dry Food
Option #4: Best Soft Kibble Foods for Kittens
A blend of premium ingredients helps kittens develop healthy immune systems and promote healthy eye, heart, brain, and muscle development; what every growing kitten needs! Feeding your new kitten a high-quality soft dry cat food like Blue Buffalo helps them grow up big and strong with a healthy body.
High protein and grain-free, this formula helps kittens stay strong and energized while food is accessible on their stomachs and teeth, making it easy for them to keep playing all day long. The blend of quality ingredients supports a kitten’s growth and active lifestyle without weighing them down or being too heavy.
It is ideal for kittens under a year old and can easily be transitioned with adult food as they mature. Great to pair with the Blue Buffalo True Solutions Blissful Belly Dry Cat Food that topped our list. You can begin transitioning your kitten to this adult food blend with ease once they are more than a year old.
This soft dry cat food is more geared towards kittens as it provides vital nutrients and a higher protein content that helps them grow up into healthy adult cats. As they mature, you’ll need to switch them to an adult cat food formula that will meet the nutritional needs of a full-grown cat; this may not give them enough of what they need anymore as they age.
As someone who has raised many kittens, this checks all the boxes when it comes to providing kittens with the nourishment they need. The kibble pieces are small enough for small cats to eat without any problems and most kittens seem to enjoy the flavor of the food.
Read more about when can kittens eat cat food!
Freshpet Healthy and Natural Cat Food
Option #5: Best Natural Soft Kibble Cat Food
Made with all-natural chicken and other natural ingredients, this may be a good fit for cats with allergies or sensitivities to certain foods. Allergies happen, and cats can have them too. If you know your cat is allergic to something or reacts poorly to soft dry cat foods with artificial dyes or preservatives, this may be easier for them to eat without getting a tummy ache.
The soft dry cat food formula helps promote healthy, shiny fur and gives cats of all ages a boost in energy levels while also helping them maintain a healthy weight. If your cat is overweight or needs to have its weight more closely monitored, this can be a great option as it helps keep your cat energized and burn off its meal after they eat.
Food is kept in the fridge to preserve the food as there are no added preservatives in this soft dry cat food. By storing this food in the fridge, the ingredients stay fresh so your cat enjoys every bite. A fresh meal every time they eat is a true testament to the high-quality ingredients used in this soft dry cat food.
Because the food needs to be kept in the fridge, it’s important that you have enough room in your fridge to store this properly. Another thing to keep in mind is that the food comes in one bag as opposed to individually portioned bags, this means that once you open it, even while stored properly in the fridge, it will start to go bad after a week or so and will need to be replaced. This may not be practical for a one-cat household or for a cat on a restricted diet since the food may go bad before you’re able to use it all.
Personally, I love the thought of feeding my furry friend fresh food from the fridge. It gives me the peace of mind that each ingredient serves a purpose and isn’t preserved with artificial preservatives or potentially harmful ingredients. I would recommend this for a multi-cat household that values fresh, natural ingredients.
IAMS ProActive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food
Option #6: Best Soft Kibble Cat Food for Older Cats
Great for cats above 11 years of age because of the increased amount of antioxidants that boost immune health and the added fiber in the dry cat food formula that helps promote a healthy digestive process in older cats.
This soft dry cat food has real chicken that provides enough protein to help keep muscles, bones, and joints tip-top shape. This is especially important in cats as they get older and their bones and joints weaken.
The texture of the kibble food is soft enough for elderly cats to digest with ease while being crunchy enough to keep teeth clean and free of plaque. If food is still too crunchy for your older cat, you can soften it more with water or a homemade gravy and still allow your cat to benefit from all of the body-boosting ingredients in this soft dry cat food.
While the formula of this cat food provides older cats with the boost in nutrition they need to stay active and healthy in their older years, not every cat will like the flavor of this soft dry cat food. Some cats, if usually picky eaters, may not eat this or beg for different food after they eat some of it. This is something to keep in mind if your older cat has a particular flavor palette that they’re partial to.
I would recommend this for older cats who aren’t picky eaters. As long as your cat has strong enough teeth to be able to eat kibble food, they should benefit from the healthy blend of this soft dry cat food.
Meow Mix Tender Centers with Basted Bites
Option #7: Best Affordable Soft Kibble Cat Food
The texture is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, making it great for an adolescent feline to adult cats with strong, healthy teeth. If your cat has strong teeth, they should eat this without a problem, but you can soften it more if necessary and without any loss of flavor and health benefits.
A combination of ingredients and flavors gives this soft dry cat food elements of chicken and tuna for a surf and turf flavor cats go crazy for with every bite. Blended, your cat can have the best of both worlds and enjoy both of the most commonly used flavors in cat food, all in one dish.
The blend of vitamins and nutrients in this soft dry cat food provides your cat with the appropriate nutrition they need daily. You shouldn’t need to supplement your cat’s diet with different foods, vitamins, or treats, as this soft dry cat food blend has everything they need in one serving size.
This is certainly a cost-effective cat food but may not provide the most natural ingredients possible. It does contain chicken by-product meals, corn products, and some preservatives. If you have a cat who has allergies or sensitivities to additives this may not be the best choice for your cat.
I have fed my own cat Meow Mix for years without any harmful side effects or changes to their overall health and well-being. This is affordable and easy to find in almost any store if you’re not shopping online for soft dry cat food and prefer to pick it up in person.
Fancy Feast Gourmet Savory Chicken & Turkey Dry Cat Food
Option #8: Tasty Soft Kibble Cat Food
Thinner kibble bits have more of a crunch than other cat foods available and may be too crunchy for some cats, but great for cats who prefer more solid food when it comes time for meals. This is also great for cats who are older than kittens, but not yet old enough to need special care foods.
Includes vitamins and minerals in the formula such as zinc, calcium, vitamin E, D3, and more to round out your cat’s diet and provide them with the nutrition they need. Providing such a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals in the soft dry cat food blend ensures you’re giving your cat everything they need to have a strong and properly functioning body.
Dry kibble cat food is made with real chicken and turkey, giving it a flavor that most cats will enjoy. Cats of all ages, breeds, and backgrounds love chicken and turkey and will most likely love the taste of this soft dry cat food.
Just like their human counterparts, some cats are pickier eaters and prefer a wider flavor profile than what this food can offer. Your cat may enjoy this at first but show less interest after eating it every day.
I think this is a great soft dry cat food to turn to when you’re in a pinch. If you’re traveling with your cat and can’t find your normal pet food at the store or want to encourage them to make the switch to dry food, this can be used to ease them into another soft dry cat food. As a regular, everyday food, your cat may get bored with it.
Rachel Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Natural Dry Cat Food
Option #9: High-Quality Soft Kibble Cat Food
Made by a famous chef of people’s food, now you can feed your pet food that’s just as good. Ingredients on the label are chosen with care and made with a cat’s health in mind. One of these ingredients is lentils which provide enough fiber to help food move smoothly through your cat’s body without blockages.
Health benefits abound in each bag by adding a boost to your cat’s digestive health, weight management, and immune health. Cranberry is added to this superfood blend of soft dry cat food to give a healthy dose of antioxidants that boost your cat’s immune system.
Ingredients are simple, straight forward and this dry cat food doesn’t include any by-products or preservatives. Natural, healthy foods like pumpkin provide a natural supply of prebiotics which aid in a healthy digestive system.
The size of the individual kibble pieces is fairly small compared to other soft dry cat foods on the market. This could potentially pose a problem if your cat is at risk of choking on smaller bits of food. This can happen if your cat has weaker teeth and may not always chew their food completely or if they are a fast eater and tend to swallow the food whole. Keep an eye on your cat the first few times they eat to make sure no issues arise.
This is a great soft dry cat food for adolescent or adult cats but it may not provide everything a growing kitten or aging, older cat would need. The price tag is a little steeper for what most people are willing to spend on an average-sized bag of cat food but I would say it’s worth it to try and see if your cat likes it!
Friskies Gravy Swirlers Dry Cat Food
Option #10: Best Adult Soft Kibble Cat Food
Tempting flavors of chicken, salmon, and gravy are popular flavors that cats enjoy, making this great for a variety of cats.
This soft dry cat food has plenty of added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that play a vital role in supporting your cat’s overall health and wellness. These additions include vitamin A and E, zinc, calcium and crude fat, protein, and fiber. These additions to the soft dry cat food blend help keep your cat’s skin, fur, immune system, teeth, muscles, bones, and joints in good shape.
A delicious gravy mix is blended directly into the soft dry cat food pieces making it a more delicate texture easy on your cat’s teeth and stomach. Kibble pieces break down easily in their stomach during the digestive process.
While this is a great soft dry cat food to feed to your adult cat, it doesn’t have the most natural ingredient list. Some things to watch out for if you’re concerned about certain ingredients are that this contains by-product meals, dyes, and runs a little higher in the salt content category. If your cat has a sensitive stomach or allergies this may not be the best fit.
I would recommend this as a great backup to keep around if you run out of your regular supply of cat food. Most cats won’t mind the taste and in less frequent quantities, the ingredient list shouldn’t pose any threats to your cat’s health.
Buying Guide: Soft Kibble Cat Food
When shopping for soft kibble cat food, it’s essential to keep a couple of things in mind. These two things are texture and ingredients.
It’s essential to keep these two things in mind to avoid feeding your cat any ingredients they may be allergic or sensitive to and give them the right texture for what their teeth can handle. For example, there are varying degrees of soft kibble cat food, and some may still be too crunchy for cats with dental problems. There may also be ingredients that your cat needs more or less of to live a healthy life.
Some ingredients to look for that boost feline health are:
In an article on IAMS, research shows that fiber helps add bulk to food, which allows food to flow through your cat’s body easier. The addition of fiber, like in the IAMS ProActive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food, supports the overall digestive process, especially in cats over 11 years of age.
Adding vitamin C and E to any cat food blend is common in several soft dry cat foods on the market. This is because they boost a cat’s immune system and increase shiny, healthy skin and fur, which are both benefits for your cat! Both of these vitamins are great to look for, along with vitamin A, D3, and B complex.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 is another common ingredient found on soft dry cat food labels because adding this ingredient helps with inflammation in your furry friend’s body, according to an article on bestfriendsvet.com. Decreased inflammation within the body can help ease discomfort and aid in the digestive process when your cat eats a meal.
Some ingredients to steer clear of are:
As explained in a post on petinsurance.com, garlic can be potentially harmful to cats because garlic contains disulphides and thiosulfates. These can lead to the damage of the red blood cells in your cat’s body, which can then lead to an array of other health problems.
For cats, oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes are off the table. In a post on wagwalking.com, warning signs may appear if you think your cat may have ingested a citrus fruit or peel. Most symptoms of citrus poisoning target the digestive system and most cat foods will not contain citrus ingredients.
Pet owners should avoid dairy, according to pdsa.org, because cats don’t have the enzyme lactase in their intestines, which aids in breaking down dairy products. Cows milk, cheese, and other dairy products are something to avoid if spotted on an ingredients label for any soft dry cat food.
Now that you know all you can about soft kibble cat food, you can make the best diet decision for your furry friend. Our favorite soft kibble cat food is, of course, Blue Buffalo’s Digestive Care Dry Cat Food. It’s great for cats of all ages and has high-quality ingredients that are safe for cats to consume.
While other cat foods in this round-up are still great choices, some are more geared towards kittens or older cats. Blue Buffalo covers all the bases with great ingredients, a great texture and taste that cats love, and puts an emphasis on digestive health.
Keeping in mind the important things to look for in soft dry cat food and your own cat’s unique needs and preferences, you can now go forth and choose the right cat food for your cat with confidence!
How Can I Soften My Cat’s Kibble Food More?
Measure out approximately a ¼ cup of room temperature water and pour it over the kibble cat food that you have portioned out in your cat’s food bowl. This should be enough water for an average size portion or 1 cup of dry kibble cat food, but you may need to add more or less water to get it the right texture for your cat.
The warmer the water, the softer the kibble will become. Additionally, the longer you let the dry kibble cat food sit with the water over it, the more it will soak in, resulting in a portion of softer cat food.
What are the Benefits of Feeding My Cat Soft Kibble Cat Food?
Softer food can be easier on both your cat’s teeth and their digestive systems. This can be great if you have a cat whose teeth aren’t the strongest and may not be able to devour regular dry kibble food or if they have digestive issues.
Softer kibble food, especially those with gravy, like Hill’s Science Diet Adult Tender Dinner Cat Food, can also increase the level of hydration your cat is getting into their bodies. If your cat isn’t great about drinking plenty of water themselves, this is a great way to give them a boost in hydration.
What is the Difference Between Dry and Wet Cat Food?
Besides the obvious fact that there is a significant difference in texture between dry and wet cat food, there are a few other differences that are worth knowing when it comes to getting your cat the right food for their bodies.
According to an article on petmd.com, the main difference between dry and wet food is the water content. Today’s most dry foods available on the cat food market only contain roughly 10% water, while most wet cat foods have more than 70% water content. This is important for maintaining healthy hydration levels in your cat. If your cat is reluctant to drink water or seems to be experiencing symptoms of dehydration like fatigue, panting, or dry gums, feeding your cat wet cat food may be more beneficial for them.
Cat foods like Hill’s Science Diet Adult Tender Dinner Cat Food is one of the top recommended cat foods on this list because of the higher water content in each package. Of course, you can always add a little water on top to increase the water content of the food even more.
How do I Introduce Soft Kibble Cat Food to My Cat’s Diet?
Suppose you are already feeding your cat soft kibble cat food and want to switch to a different brand that better suits your cat’s needs or you are providing them canned food and want to introduce more solid food into their diet. In that case, there is a great way you can do this without any unnecessary tummy aches!
Start by splitting your cat’s food into a ratio of ¾ original food and ¼ new food. Keep feeding your kitty with that ratio of food for a week and then switch to a half and half ratio for the following week. Then, assuming they are handling it well and enjoying the new food, proceed to split the food into ¾ fresh food and ¼ new food for a week before finally switching entirely to the new food you have chosen.
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